Tuesday Photo Challenge – Radiant

Radiant stands the tree…

Welcome to week 166 of the Tuesday Photo Challenge!

Last week’s theme of Trail generated some stunning results! They were most enjoyable. As the Summer solstice passed last week, I was looking to use an image that captures some of the bright brilliance of the season. The image in this post inspired the idea of using Radiant for this week’s theme, both in the light emanating from the tree and the Sun’s power that is unleashed during the season.

Of course, Radiant can go in a number of directions, all of which I’ll enjoy seeing over the next week! I hope you have a lot of fun with this theme!!

Here’s the tree that inspired the theme…

Verdant radiance!

This is a shot from my backyard that I took while experimenting with an Infrared lens filter. It took a bit to figure out, but it created a great effect with the right processing…

The full rules of this challenge are in TPC Guidelines, but here’s the tl;dr:

  • Write a post with an image for this week’s topic
  • Please tag your post with fpj-photo-challenge (if you’re not sure about how tags work, please check out this WordPress article about tagging posts)
  • Create a pingback link to this post, so that I can create a post showing all of the submissions over the week (note: pingbacks may not appear immediately, as my site is set up to require approval for linking to it; helps against previous bad experiences with spamming)
  • Have fun creating something new (or sharing something old)!!

Don’t trail! Be first and don’t lose the trail! Have fun!

Three Line Tales – Floating

Ferocious grace…

Many thanks to Sonya for Week One Hundred and Seventy-Three of Three Line Tales, part of her awesome blog Only 100 Words!

two children looking at a polar bear in a zoo
photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen via Unsplash

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Effortless beauty,
Floating with grace and power.
Ursus Maritimus.

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Thank you to Sonya of Only 100 Words for coming up with Three Line Tales.

You’ll find full guidelines on her TLT page, but here’s the tl;dr:

  • Write three lines inspired by the photo prompt (& give them a title if possible).
  • Link back to this post.
  • Tag your post with 3LineTales (so everyone can find you in the Reader).
  • Read and comment on other TLT participants’ lines.
  • NEW: If you want your post to be included in the round-up, you have until Sunday evening to publish it.
  • Have fun.

Happy three-lining!

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Rock

Rock it!

Welcome to week 153 of the Tuesday Photo Challenge.

In case you wondered, last week’s contributions were absolutely wonderful! To put it simply: all of you Rock!! Which leads me to this week’s theme: Rock… Looking through photos for inspiration, it struck me that this theme would allow for all of your creativity to be used. Whether you feel like rocking the cradle or the boat, or be as steady as the Rock of Gibraltar, go for hard rock or soft rock, there might be something in this theme just for you!

I’m looking forward to find out what kind of fun you can dream up for this week! Have fun with it!

Sometimes, the rock gets ground down into something small and smooth…

Pebbles!

When I encountered these pebbles on the beach, I knew there would be something here to capture… It’s almost like a pattern was laid out in these pebbles, waiting to be uncovered!

The full rules of this challenge are in TPC Guidelines, but here’s the tl;dr:

  • Write a post with an image for this week’s topic
  • Please tag your post with fpj-photo-challenge (if you’re not sure about how tags work, please check out this WordPress article about tagging posts)
  • Create a pingback link to this post, so that I can create a post showing all of the submissions over the week (note: pingbacks may not appear immediately, as my site is set up to require approval for linking to it; helps against previous bad experiences with spamming)
  • Have fun creating something new (or sharing something old)!!

Can’t wait to see how you’re going to rock this theme!

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Wonder

Which wonders do you see?

Welcome to week 152 of the Tuesday Photo Challenge.

After last week’s pleasant surprise that I hadn’t used Sunrise as a theme before, I really wondered… And, yes!! I have never used Wonder as a theme either! Whether you want to feature the Wonders of Nature, the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World or make us wonder what you may have photographed, there are plenty of directions for you to take this theme! And, of course, I expect all of your ideas to be wonderful!!

I think that there’s a lot of fun to be had with this week’s theme, so I look forward to see what you are going to create!

Here’s one of Nature’s wonders

Giant Swallowtail

This gorgeous Giant Swallowtail was sitting perfectly still, allowing me to get a nice sharp focus that highlights all the amazing details of this stunning creature. One of these days, I will have to prepare a large print to bring out the colors of the individual hairs that truly stand out!

The full rules of this challenge are in TPC Guidelines, but here’s the tl;dr:

  • Write a post with an image for this week’s topic
  • Please tag your post with fpj-photo-challenge (if you’re not sure about how tags work, please check out this WordPress article about tagging posts)
  • Create a pingback link to this post, so that I can create a post showing all of the submissions over the week (note: pingbacks may not appear immediately, as my site is set up to require approval for linking to it; helps against previous bad experiences with spamming)
  • Have fun creating something new (or sharing something old)!!

Looking forward to see what comes round the bend this week!

My Photo Workflow

Turning over a leaf

Last week I shared an example of an edit that I did to highlight a blue canoe on a rather dreary, sleety day. In that post, I mentioned that quite often I do very little to adjust a photo. So in today’s post, I’ll detail my standard workflow.

Even though I do a lot of little adjustments in Lightroom for events, I only use Lightroom for print preparation. To get any image ready for print, I use Photoshop, as all my printer/paper profiles are available to me in Photoshop.

Let’s take a look at the steps that I used to process this image of a solitary leaf that I used as one of my test images to explore the Fuji X-T1.

Solitary Leaf

In Photoshop, my first step is to duplicate the background layer (Cmnd-J/Ctrl-J), as I don’t want to make any changes to the background layer that I might want to undo later. This also has the advantage of doing quick comparisons between layers.

Select this new layer, I will apply some amount of sharpening using the Unsharp Mask filter. My typical range of settings for the Unsharp Mask are:

  • Amount between 50-100% (note that too much sharpening will create some artifacts
  • Radius in the 2-4 range
  • Threshold in the 3-5 range

These values tend to work pretty well; for this specific image I used 70% with a radius and threshold of 3.

Next, I duplicate the Unsharp Mask layer and select the Soft Light blend mode for the new layer. Soft Light darkens or lightens the colors, depending on the blend color. The effect is similar to shining a diffused spotlight on the image. If the blend color (light source) is lighter than 50% gray, the image is lightened as if it were dodged. If the blend color is darker than 50% gray, the image is darkened as if it were burned in. As the impact of the Soft Light blend mode can be pretty overwhelming, I tend to use an Opacity of 7-15% on this layer (it’s usually more than enough). The effect of using the Soft Light blend mode is to provide a subtle bit of saturation without overdoing it. I find this works better for me than using the Saturation adjustment.

Last step is to adjust the Brightness/Contrast to make sure that the brightness is right. Also, I make sure to use Contrast to ensure that the image is not overly muddy.

At this point, I save the Photoshop document and, if I want to create a cropped version of the image (quite often I don’t) that is a next step. There are times when I have a specific format in mind that I will crop for; if that’s the case, I save the cropped version as a separate Photoshop document.

That’s all there is to it! Hope that this was interesting to you, and feel free to ask questions, if you have any.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Round Up 148

Welcome to the 148th round up of the Tuesday Photo Challenge!

Cream rises to the top, which means that all of you created a magnificent Surface this week! Many of you found some interesting surface that spoke of deep, meaningful explorations! You also went deeper, well below the surface to bring out thoughts that should be shared by all! Your photography was amazing, as always; there were a couple of images that completely blew me away with their beauty and execution. Explore and see, if there are some that affect you similarly.

A great big thank you for all your effort and the amazing posts, as they were a pleasure to read and absorb!!

Here’s something from below the surface…

Going below the Surface!

This shot came from an all-too-short excursion into the Chincoteague area. I was lucky enough to see some amazing wildlife and spent some time capturing this white egret, while it was fishing. With the incredible range between the dark background and the stark white of the heron, I have not come up with a perfect solution for capturing it, but this one is not too bad.

The following were this week’s participants in the challenge with links to their posts:

  1. Xenia has a couple of awesome posts, the first of which is in whippetwisdom and about helping the hounds of Macau with Eivor and Pearl relaxing on a soft surface! Her second post is in Tranature, where the seals are snoozing on the sand!
  2. Klara brings us a great surface on the turtle in her post in Sliku svoju ljubim II; excellent mixture of textures!
  3. Shelley shares a great set of surfaces in Quaint Revival, where she also reveals that old clicking habits die hard…
  4. In a lovely post in Minding my P’s with Q, we get treated to a combination of Nature and human-made surface…cool photo!
  5. That great photo in Geriatri’X’ Fotogallery brings back memories of sailing and walking in the gullies at low tide!
  6. Another fantastic post from sgeoil, in which the beaver is swimming along the surface!
  7. Marie shares a gorgeous photo in the New 3 Rs: Retire, Recharge, Reconnect! That is a lovely surface!
  8. Maria’s post in her blog KameraPromenader makes me think that a particular part of that plaque is more popular than the rest!
  9. Na’ama takes us well below the surface in her poem in Na’ama Yehuda and brings depth to the theme!
  10. This week, pensivity101 stays right on the surface, which is a good thing when you’re in a boat!
  11. Woolly takes us to the water in Woolly Muses with a good contrast between the placid days and the stormy sea!
  12. In an interesting post in A Midnight Rider, we get to see the surface of the harbor of New Bedford, Massachusetts with some cool views!
  13. In a great post in Reflections, we see that not everyone is afraid of the big, bad wolf!
  14. The post in Chateaux des Fleurs for this week’s theme has surfaces for both Winter and Summer!
  15. Ann-Christine’s post in To See a World in a Grain of Sand makes me wonder…is walking on water possible?
  16. In Junk Boat Travels, Jackie takes us to the surface of the moon in Mazatlan!
  17. This week’s post in One letter UP – diary 2.0 features a surface that might not be welcomed by all…
  18. With a stunning photo in Land of Images, we get to experience the multiple textures of surfaces.
  19. With a gorgeous post in Misty Roads, we get to experience the grace and beauty that floats on the surface…
  20. Penny’s inspired poem in Penny Wilson Writes is simply amazing! Oh what lies beneath the surface!
  21. In Biking to Work‘s post, we get to enjoy the contribution to surface artistry by a one-eyed, elderly family member…
  22. With a challenge from Life Amazing, who can not want to look to see what lies below the surface?
  23. Jase’s post in Proscenium channels thoughts of Bruce Springsteen, which may have been about that surface!
  24. In another lovely post in Heart to Heart, we examine some of the differences between surfaces!
  25. Sarah has another fantastic photo in her post in By Sarah; it’s a bit of an eyeball bender: what do you see?
  26. Kammie really went for a great variety of surfaces in her post in Nut House Central; which is your favorite?
  27. In Don’t Hold Your Breath‘s post we go with the flow to make a sily, smooth surface!
  28. Irene’s photo in her post in Heaven’s Sunshine brings us a surface that also provides its own sound track…
  29. In Pictures without Film, Ken provides several great surfaces; I’m somewhat partial to the second one…
  30. Yinglan shares some great photos in This is Another Story, as the partial freeze of a pond provides great material!
  31. Sandy brings us some amazing koi in Out of my Write Mind; they skim the surface with great shape and color!
  32. In another great post in A Pause for Nature, we get to explore the many layers that make up the surface…
  33. Susan’s photo in Musin’ with Susan is a truly stunning macro shot of a mushroom! Such perfection!!
  34. In a wonderful post in Sharing Thoughts, Indira brings us a couple of awesome surfaces; one has a shy visitor!
  35. Debbie shares a gorgeous photo of a turtle in her post in Twenty Four; turtles are simply amazing creatures!
  36. Olga has a couple of stunning photos in Stuff and What if…; of course, this is one tree surface that I always admire too!
  37. Hammad’s post in the Blog of Hammad Rais goes to the simple beauty of black and white with a great photo!
  38. In a wonderful post in Another LQQK, Teressa examines a number of surfaces from great vantage points!
  39. The Raku pottery in the Alchemist’s Studio is stunning and has amazing surface textures!
  40. Cee brings a number of fantastic surfaces into her post in Cee’s Photography!
  41. Carol shares a fantastic surface photo in My Silly Snail Blog, which is a truly creative blog!
  42. Robert shares another stunning photo in Photo Roberts Blog! The combination of reflection and surface is one to behold!
  43. Tracy’s post in Reflections of an Untidy Mind invites us to look below the surface…she shares her life with great honesty, which I very much appreciate! The struggle is real, and you’re not alone, Tracy!
  44. Inspired by Tracy’s post, Dawnbird’s post in A Shared Space brings Marie Kondo to the surface; love that collection of condiments!
  45. A wonderful photo in Thief Images Photography Blog provides us with a rather slippery surface!
  46. Donna brings us a great post in Wind Kisses with a good variety of surfaces and some areas that I’d love to explore; I can’t believe that I haven’t made it to Arizona yet!
  47. Brian shared a really cool surface in his post in Bushboy’s World; cafe counters can be stunning!
  48. Debbie shared a wonderful post in ForgivingConnects about the power of letting love speak and listening to one’s heart!

Please let all of these great bloggers know your thoughts about their posts!

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Surface

The power of the river

Welcome to week 148 of the Tuesday Photo Challenge.

Thanks to everyone for the great contributions on last week’s theme; you managed to run with Crawl without any problem! For this week, I thought it might be fun to go with a theme that allows you to go to any level that you like: Surface! It’s up to your creative minds to document the surface, or see what surfaces or go below the surface to uncover what lies beneath. Of course, your surfaces can be of any topology that you choose!

Have some fun with this one and don’t hesitate to poke the surface and see what you stir up! I’m looking forward to your creative endeavors!

Here’s a surface with a slight ripple…

Liquid Power

This image came from a leisurely exploratory drive along the Connecticut river; as I drove North into Vermont, I thought it would be a good change of pace to drive South through New Hampshire. That’s where I found this hydro power plant in Bellows Falls, VT.

The full rules of this challenge are in TPC Guidelines, but here’s the tl;dr:

  • Write a post with an image for this week’s topic
  • Please tag your post with fpj-photo-challenge (if you’re not sure about how tags work, please check out this WordPress article about tagging posts)
  • Create a pingback link to this post, so that I can create a post showing all of the submissions over the week (note: pingbacks may not appear immediately, as my site is set up to require approval for linking to it; helps against previous bad experiences with spamming)
  • Have fun creating something new (or sharing something old)!!

Enjoy your week and I can’t wait to see what floats to the surface in your creative endeavors!